There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. As she was getting her things in order, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the funeral Mass, what Scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and as the pastor was preparing to leave, the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What’s that?” asked the pastor. “This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want my body to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young woman asked. “Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor. The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me this story, and that’s where I got the idea. I have, also, always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

In all my years of attending Church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ’Keep your fork!’ It was my favorite part of the meal because I knew that something better was coming, like chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork–the best is yet to come.

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari